More than 200,000 people in the United States are living with a potentially deadly virus—HIV—and don’t know it. National HIV Testing Day is June 27 and we at SFGN urge our readers to get tested and to encourage friends and family to do the same. No single step can do more to stop the spread of the virus.

Every year, about 56,000 Americans become infected with HIV and nearly 18,000 with AIDS die. More than 1 million people in this country are currently living with the virus.

 

Testing is especially important for gay and bisexual men, who represent 53 percent of new HIV infections in the United States, and who comprise the only risk group for which new infections are increasing. Yet many gay and bisexual men are not getting tested often enough: 30 percent have not been tested for HIV within the last year, and a study in five large cities found 48 percent of HIV-positive gay and bisexual men were unaware of their status.

The Broward County Health Department is promoting free, anonymous and confidential HIV counseling and testing throughout Broward County during the week of June 21 - June 30.  In addition, Churches United to Stop HIV (CUSH) will offer free testing on Sunday, June 27 at six locations.

The Center for Disease Control recommends that all Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as a routine part of medical care, regardless of their risk behavior. No one should walk out of a doctor’s office without knowing his or her HIV status.

For more information on free testing sites call the Broward County Health Department, HIV/AIDS Program Office at (954) 467-4700 x 5661, (954) 778-5512 or visit Browardchd.org.

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